Staff Correspondent
The government of Bangladesh has finally received the absolute ownership over the country’s first geostationary communication satellite Bangabandhu-I from the manufacturer company Thales Alenia Space.
Gilles Obadia, programme manager of Thales Alenia handed over the satellite handover certificate to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Chairman Md Jahurul Haque at a programme styled ‘Transfer of Title of Bangabandhu Satellite 1’ at Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Limited (BCSCL) office in the capital on Friday.
Later, BTRC chairman handed over the certificate to BCSCL Chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood in presence of ICT Minster Mustafa Jabbar as chief guest as France ambassador Marie-Annick BOURDIN as special guest.
The minister defined the moment as a historic occasion for the entire nation, like a country which was recognized as a basket without base has become owner of a satellite.
We are now among the proud nations who own satellite. I thank all who have been working since its inception. There were so many rumours but finally we laugh. This is the biggest achievement of the government, he added. Gilles said, from today Bangladeshi Engineers will control the satellite by their own. They had successfully completed the tests.
BCSCL Chairman said it’s a great moment in the history of Bangladesh; the country now officially becomes the owner of Bangabandhu Satellite 1. With the continuous support of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her ICT adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy’s constant advice helped us complete the project- he added.
For bandwidth from foreign country expenses 14 million dollars, but now the satellite will help us save these foreign currencies. Of the total 40 transponder, 20 will be used in Bangladesh and the rest will be rented to other countries, he added.
Satellite will be in stock by next three years from now, as this will be a profitable project- he further added.
France ambassador said, “We have been trying to provide as much support as we can since the beginning of BS-1. As the final test has been completed successfully, we will produce further technical assistance as per the contract. We are looking forward to working with BS-2 as the prime minister has asked us to take preparation to that end, she further said.
Earlier on September 22, the manufacturing company preliminarily handed over the satellite to the telecom regulator’s project officials. Before this the satellite had successfully completed trial broadcast of South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) championship this year.
Thales launched the Bangabandhu-I in May 12 from Florida of America. The entire project has been executed at a cost Taka 2,765 crore and according to the plan, it will reach break-even within seven years of starting its commercial service.
On the other hand, BCSCL has signed agreement with international consultancy firm Thaicom for two years to run marketing and sale of the connectivity of Bangabandhu-I in six countries, including four neighbours. The Thai firm is currently active in around 20 countries.
Located at the 119.1 east geostationary slot, Bangabandhu-I would cover the SAARC countries and Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkestan and a part of Kazakhstan.
The coverage is the strongest in Indonesia, the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan, for which these six countries have initially been chosen for business.